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S. Korea: ‘Social Networks Going Mobile’
Source: http://www.koreaherald.com/
Source Date: Thursday, October 14, 2010
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Korea (Republic of)
Created: Oct 18, 2010

With the evolution of mobile technology, smartphones will boost social networking among people on the move, Chris Hughes, a Facebook co-founder, said Thursday.

Hughes founded Facebook in 2004 with his Harvard classmates Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz. The most populous online community has more than 500 million active users worldwide, with more than 1.6 million in Korea.

Social networking services are increasingly becoming a powerful communication tool amid the growing number of online service providers stepping up their foray into social networking services on smartphones.

The 26-year-old entrepreneur sees the social networking trend shifting to mobile from traditional personal computers.

“PCs today become less important to the mobile devices we use today,” Hughes told reporters on the sideline of the 11th World Knowledge Forum in Seoul. “That’s one of the reasons that Facebook is making an incredible investment in global technology.”

After leaving the social hub in 2007, Hughes worked as former director of online organizing for U.S. president Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. He is now about to launch a social network that connects people to non-profit organizations, called Jumo.com.

Social networking services allow users to communicate with those they care about, he said, while promoting globalization.

“All (SNS) share in common is the ability to make it easier for people to come together to pursue common ends,” Hughes said. “It opens up opportunities to collaborate across borders, across time zones and across continents.”

With the web and mobile technology developing, Facebook would exponentially grow as a new marketing platform, he said. Hughes serves as a shareholder of the California-based firm.

“A lot of marketers are finding it useful when they want to connect directly with customers,” Hughes said. “It enables conversations to happen around about a product, campaign or idea in a way that hasn’t been possible elsewhere on the web up until now, boosting advertising opportunities.”

However, it is still too early translate the growth potential into an actual revenue figure since Facebook just started, he added.

The social networking boom opens new markets in countries like Korea and China, but some censorship still exists to restrict access to the global trend, Hughes said.

“It comes as no surprise that the censored Internet is a lot weaker than the one that’s open,” he said. “I and my colleagues would favor and like to see an Internet in China that’s much more open, accessible, not for consumers but for society in general.”
The Chinese government has blocked access to Twitter and Facebook since last year to hinder riots of Tibet and Xinjiang regions where people used such social hubs to plan destruction from outside China.

The number of Koreans using social networking services topped 25 million in July, up 57 percent from a year earlier, according to U.S.-based research firm comScore.
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